ASCAP Hires Two In Creative Dept.

L-R: Michael Martin, Robert Filhart

ASCAP’s Nashville office today announced the hiring of Michael Martin as Sr. Creative Director and Robert Filhart as Creative Manager. Over the last several months the performing rights organization has reworked its Nashville operations to serve as a regional headquarters.

Martin comes to ASCAP from Extreme Writers Group (EWG) where he was Partner and Co-Founder with Jason Houser and shared responsibilities for the day-to-day operations of the publishing and content development companies. EWG has enjoyed numerous No. 1’s, including the recent success of Rascal Flatts’ “Here Comes Goodbye” and George Strait’s “I Saw God Today,” as well as the current Top 5 single “Crazy Town” by Jason Aldean. Since launching in 2000, EWG also had the 14-week Christian chart-topper “The Motions” by Matthew West, and hits with Big & Rich’s “Lost In This Moment” and Jason Aldean’s “Johnny Cash” and “Why.” As a graduate of University of Texas Arlington, Martin began his career in music publishing as VP of Creative Services at Moraine Music.

Filhart joins ASCAP from his most recent post as an Associate Manager at Dottore-DuBois Artist Management. In this position, he handled day-to-day activities for Matt Jenkins and Connie Smith. He was previously employed with Still Working Music, where he worked primarily as a songplugger while also handling day-to-day logistics for Danielle Peck. He began his career interning for Universal South Records and, later, at Major Bob Music/Bob Doyle & Associates. Filhart graduated with a B.S. in Business/Music Industry Management from Ferris State University in Michigan.

“We’re delighted to bring the diverse talents of Michael and Robert to our organization,” said Tim DuBois, VP and Managing Executive of operations at ASCAP Nashville. “Their experience, passion for the craft, and dedication to writers and artists wonderfully complement the overall vision of ASCAP, as well as the new elevated role in expanding and enhancing our relationships with our writers and publishers across all musical genres.”

“I have loved being a music publisher, and working closely with writers and artists and the songs they create is an amazing process,” added Martin. “To continue to be a part of this process while working with the ASCAP community and its members is an opportunity I am thrilled to be taking.”

“I am very excited to be a part of this amazing creative team that is ASCAP Nashville,” said Filhart. “The foundation for a successful music industry has always been great songs created by great writers, and I am looking forward to creating opportunities to help our members do what they do best.”

Dan Bowen Exits CMA

It remains unofficial, but MusicRow has learned that CMA VP of Strategic Marketing & Communications, Dan Bowen, has exited the Country Music Association, as a result of his position being eliminated.

According to his CMA public phone message, Bowen can now be reached at [email protected] or 615-440-6346.

Warner Re-works Promo Dept., Hires Chris Palmer

Radio promotion executive Chris Palmer is joining the team at Warner Music Nashville (WMN). Starting June 14 he will be on board as Vice President of Promotions. Palmer will oversee the newly-created promotion staff team known as Warner Bros., Atlantic & Reprise (WAR), which will complement Warner Music Nashville’s (WMN) current promotion staff headed by Bob Reeves, Vice President of Promotions. Both Palmer and Reeves will report directly to Chris Stacey, Sr. Vice President of Promotions. WMN’s two radio promotion teams will not be label specific, but rather artist specific, with each team focusing their resources on individual artist projects.

Palmer’s career began in radio in 1988. Ten years later he was hired by Disney’s then-new country music imprint, Lyric Street Records, as Director of Regional Promotion/Northeast. He spent 12 years with Lyric Street, handling different regions and then being raised to Sr. Dir of National Promotion for the label’s Carolwood Records imprint. When Carolwood shuttered one year later, he remained as Senior Director of National Promotion for Lyric Street.

Warner/Chappell Promotes BJ Hill, Alicia Pruitt

(L-R): BJ Hill and Alicia Pruitt

BJ Hill and Alicia Pruitt have been promoted to Sr. Directors of A&R for Warner/Chappell Nashville. They will continue to be responsible for signing emerging songwriters, developing the publisher’s existing roster, and securing song placements.

Hill joined the company in 2005 where he is responsible for signing and overseeing some of Nashville’s top songwriters including Lady Antebellum’s Dave Haywood and Charles Kelley, and established hitmaker Wendell Mobley. Hill’s background includes stops at Universal Music Group and Jody Williams Music.

Since joining Warner/Chappell in 2006, Pruitt has bee responsible for signing and serving as the day-to-day contact for songwriters Deana Carter, Sean McConnell and Randy Rogers. Her tenure in the music business also includes time as Creative Director at Big Tractor Music Publishing and a stint at Broadvision Music Publishing.

Van Fletcher Joins Chasin

Van Fletcher

Longtime industry executive Van Fletcher is on board as President of a new company, Chasin Music Group.

Founded by John Acunto and Gary Hohman, Chasin’s first initiative is the Chasin Hits mobile phone music application, being developed and distributed by seasoned mobile services company Handmark.

The Chasin Hits application will be available to all mobile service providers and works on any mobile platform. Chasin Hits offers a proprietary interface that is designed for easy content management and updates, it offers targeted demographic gathering and reporting, combined social networking capabilities, sales reporting and more.

Chasin Music Group will have its primary offices in New York and Nashville as well as satellite offices in other cities to be announced.

Fletcher, who most recently spent eight years as Sr. VP of Sales and Operations at Universal Records South, is an equity partner in Chasin. Prior to his post at Universal, he was Exec. VP & GM at Virgin Records and Sr. VP of Sales and Branch Distribution for Polygram. Fletcher can be reached at [email protected]

Renee Leymon At Bigger Picture/New Revolution; Capitol Hiring

Renee Leymon

Twenty-year radio promotion executive Renee Leymon has joined Bigger Picture and New Revolution Entertainment. In her new roles, Leymon will be assisting Rob Dalton in growing and developing the promotion staff at New Revolution Entertainment, and she will also assist the promotion staff at Bigger Picture in securing radio airplay.

Leymon was most recently at Lyric Street Records, working with Rascal Flatts, SHeDAISY, Josh Gracin, Bucky Covington, Sarah Buxton and others.

“As you know, we don’t do titles, so like everyone else, Renee will be coming in as a Promotions Executive, custom building the position and which stations she’ll be working to suit her expertise,” said Powers. “We’re excited to have someone of her caliber join us in working the careers of our fine acts like the Harters, Zac Brown Band, Gloriana, Kid Rock, Lee Brice, Tim McGraw and others.”

“I’ve known and trusted Jeff Solima for many years and always wanted to work with him,” says Leymon. “Getting to work with Michael Powers, Rob Dalton and the entire staffs of both teams are an honor for me.”

Leymon can be reached at 615-417-7484 or [email protected]


Capitol Nashville/EMI Records Nashville has added Rachel Dobson as Promotion Coordinator. She can be reached at 615-269-2047 and [email protected] Dobson replaces Alisa Bowman who was promoted to Manager, Syndication & Special Projects.

SESAC Promotes Tim Fink

SESAC has promoted Tim Fink to Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations. The 20-year veteran of the performing rights organization previously served as Associate Vice-President, Writer/Publisher Relations.

Since joining SESAC in 1990, Fink has held positions on the licensing and affiliations sides of the company. Appointed the head of the Nashville Writer/Publisher Relations team in 2002 as Associate Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations, Fink works with songwriters and publishers across a wide range of genres.

“Tim Fink has proven himself to be a talented and dedicated executive, a consummate professional,” said Trevor Gale, Senior Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations. “Tim possesses great instincts and a keen insight when identifying and nurturing talent which has played an integral part in SESAC’s remarkable growth. SESAC is delighted to announce this much deserved promotion and we all look forward to continuing on with providing unprecedented service and support to our songwriter and publishing affiliates.”

Middleworth Moves To Little Champion Music

Longtime music publishing executive Glenn Middleworth has joined Little Champion Music as Sr. Creative Director. The two-year-old publishing house owned by Martina and John McBride/Blackbird Studios is home to songwriters Rachel Thibodeau and Jason Sever. More signings are expected in coming months.

Middleworth spent a total of ten years at EMI Music Publishing, ending as Sr. Advisor to A&R in January 2010. His publishing career started in 1984 at Jerry Bradley’s Forrest Hills Music. He joined EMI Music in 1994 as Senior Vice President of Creative, before moving to a similar role at Famous Music Nashville in 2002. In 2008 he rejoined EMI Nashville as Senior Advisor to A&R.

He has worked with and signed writers such as Raul Malo and The Mavericks, Joe Diffie, Jim Collins, Mark Alan Springer, Kelly Lovelace, Tia Sillers, Brad Paisley, Hillary Lindsey, Darrell Scott, Steve Bogard, Bob Regan, and Dallas Davidson.

Little Champion Music is located at 2801 Bransford Ave., Nashville, TN 37204. office: 615.515.6610. [email protected]

BMG, Huff, Franklin Open Publishing Company

Dann Huff, Darrell Franklin

BMG Rights Management has partnered with renowned producer Dann Huff and publisher Darrell Franklin to form BMG Rights Management Nashville. The full-service publishing company launches with a stable of writers including busbee, Jonathan Singleton, and Neil Thrasher.

BMG Rights Management, the international group of music publishing companies which recently purchased Huff’s Crosstown Songs is also in agreement to acquire Cherry Lane Music Publishing.

Huff, long recognized as one of Nashville’s most innovative and successful producers, was recently named Billboard’s Country Producer of the Decade and was the recipient of the 2010 Producer of the Year Award from the Academy of Country Music. Among the many artists he has produced are Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Faith Hill, Martina McBride, LeAnn Rimes, Lonestar, Jewel, Julianne Hough, and Steel Magnolia.

Franklin has worked together with Huff since 2000 in connection with Dann’s producing projects and in the operation of the music publishing companies Diver Dann Music and Crosstown Songs Nashville. He is son of renowned pedal steel guitarist Paul Franklin.

“We are excited to be associated with creative individuals of the caliber of Dann Huff and Darrell Franklin,” said BMG’s Chief Operating Officer Laurent Hubert. “We look forward to building a successful Nashville operation by acquiring significant catalogs and signing top songwriters; BMG Nashville will create a publishing environment that fosters and supports their endeavors.”

“The chance for Darrell and me to work with music publishing executives like Hartwig Masuch, Laurent Hubert, and Deirdre O’Hara is a dream come true,” said Huff. “It is an honor to be included as part of a truly international publishing company like BMG which offers our writers the opportunity to expand their success in Nashville and throughout the world.”

BMG Rights Nashville will provide full creative, administrative, marketing and synch support. It will maintain offices at 2737 Larmon Drive, Nashville, Tennessee 37204. Phone: 615.385.2058

Since its founding in late 2008, BMG has established offices in New York and Los Angeles, and affiliated offices in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Benelux countries, and Scandinavia. Aside from the high profile acquisition of Crosstown Songs and the agreement to purchase Cherry Lane Music Publishing, BMG Rights Management has within the past year acquired a number of other music publishing catalogs. It has also signed agreements with artists and producers including Leona Lewis, Jim Beanz, and The Crystal Method and now represents the rights to more than 75,000 songs and recordings.

ASCAP Reorganization Continues

ascap we create music1There has been no official word, but MusicRow has heard that the realignment at ASCAP Nashville included a number of personnel changes today, most notably in the writer rep department. Thought to be exiting due to this re-organization are Herky Williams, John Briggs, Pat Rolfe, Dan Keen and Charlene Wilhite. Remaining on board are Ralph Murphy, Mike Sistad, and Jesse Willoughby.

On Feb. 22 ASCAP CEO John LoFrumento announced an expansion of the company’s Nashville operations to become a Regional Office serving all genres of music. Industry veteran Tim DuBois was appointed Vice President and Managing Executive of the operations. On April 6, LeAnn Phelan, most recently a Writer Producer/Manager with 19 Entertainment, was tapped as Senior Creative Director at ASCAP’s Nashville Regional Office. She reports to DuBois.